TWELVE LIFE AND WORK HAZARDS THAT CAN CAUSE LOW BACK PAIN…

1. Static work postures.

2. Repetitive tasks, like packing products or even typing.

3. Bending, crouching or stooping.

4. Ageing – after the age of 60 you are more likely to develop back problems.

5. Genetics.

6. Nursing staff in the environment due to lifting of patients.

7. Pushing, pulling or dragging heavy loads.

8. Sleeping policeman can be one of the worst culprits so driving can be quite high on the list.

9. People in the construction industry due to all the lifting of heavy goods.

10. Cooks as they have to lift heavy pans of vegetables.

11. Cleaners as they have to bend and stretch so much.

12. Joiners as there’s heavy objects to lift and awkward positions to work in.

 

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE BEST PILLOWS FOR BACK PAIN AND FIBROMYALGIA SUFFERERS…

If you adopt the best pillow positions for people with back pain you may find this really helps your sleep. Tuck Advanced Better Sleep says Individuals who experience back pain can adjust or reposition their pillows in order to alleviate their discomfort. According to Healthline, the following methods may be suitable for different sleepers:

  • Side sleeping with a pillow between the knees. You should ensure your body makes contact with the mattress between your shoulder and buttocks. The pillow should be placed in a position where it won’t slip out; this will help the hips and pelvis align with the spine, which can reduce pain and discomfort. If a gap forms between your side and the mattress, then a smaller pillow may be used to fill that space.
  • Fetal position with both knees tucked. To achieve this position, lie down on your back and then roll onto one side with both knees bent and tucked toward your chest. Bend your upper body toward the knees; this will help expand the spine and alleviate pressure on the disks. Be sure to rotate to the other side if you begin to experience discomfort.
  • Stomach sleeping with a pillow beneath the pelvis. Although stomach sleeping can exacerbate back pain symptoms, a pillow placed under the pelvis can relieve stress on the neck and back disks. Some sleepers in this position are more comfortable without a pillow beneath their head.
  • Back sleeping with a pillow beneath the knees. Lay flat on your back and place a pillow beneath both knees. This helps straighten out the spine and alleviates pressure points between the neck and hips. If you find this is insufficient, consider placing a rolled-up towel under your lower back.

 There are six standard sizes for pillows, as well as smaller specialty sizes normally associated with specific pillow types (such as orthopedic memory foam pillows). The following table breaks down the width and length dimensions of these seven sizes, as well as suitable pillowcase measurements.

PILLOW SIZE DIMENSIONS PILLOW CASE SIZE AND DIMENSIONS NOTES
Small 20W” x 12L” Specialty sizes Normally found with orthopedic/cervical pillows (see below)
Standard 20W” x 26L” Standard (20-21W” x 30-32″L) The most common pillow size, as well as the most compact and usually the least expensive
Super Standard 20W” x 28L” Standard (20-21W” x 30-32″L) Slightly longer than the Standard, but uses Standard-size pillowcases
Queen 20W” x 30L” Standard (20-21W” x 30-32″L) Queen (20-22W” x 30-34L”) The second most common pillow size, and suitable for most people who toss and turn
King 20W” x 36L” King (20-21W” x 36-41″L) Good for people who toss and turn, and also makes good headrests and backrests
Euro 26W” x 26L” 24W” x 24L”

22W” x 22L”

20W” x 20L”

18W” x 18L”

16W” x 16L”

Euro (dimensions vary) The only standard pillow size that is square-shaped, and not normally used for primary sleeping pillows
Body Pillow 54W” x 20L” 48W” x 20L” Body pillow (dimensions vary) The longest pillow size, mostly suitable for side sleepers and pregnant women

Pillow shape is also important for people with back pain. Although a wide selection of pillow shapes are available, pillows generally fall into one of these two categories:

  • Even: These pillows have an even, non-contoured surface. They may not be as suitable for sleepers with back pain, but pillows made from certain materials (such as shredded memory foam or feathers) conform beneath the head and neck for targeted pain and pressure relief.
  • Curved: Also known as cervical or orthopedic pillows, curved pillows are usually made from foam and have a contoured surface. The neck is raised with the area for the head dips down, which can provide better support for people with neck pain — but some sleepers claim that these pillows are more comfortable when they are placed upside down on the mattress.

Lastly, let’s discuss pillow loft, a term that refers to how thick a pillow is when not bearing weight. Specific loft measurements vary by model, but there are three general loft categories:

  • Low-loft: Less than three inches thick.
  • Medium-loft: Three to five inches thick.
  • High-loft: More than five inches thick.

The loft will help determine how supportive and comfortable the pillow feels, and whether it is suitable for people with back pain. However, there are several factors to take into account when selecting a pillow based on loft. These include:

Sleep position: Choosing the right pillow based on loft depends on whether the sleeper prefers the back, side, or stomach position.

  • Back-sleepers are usually most comfortable with medium-loft pillows because they find the right balance between thickness and softness.
  • Side-sleepers often prefer medium- or high-loft pillows because this position can cause large gaps to form between their head/neck and the pillow.
  • Stomach-sleepers tend to prefer low-loft pillows because higher-loft models elevate the neck too much, causing the spine to become uneven; this can lead to aches and pains throughout the body. Some stomach sleepers find that not using a pillow at all is most comfortable.

Pillow position: People who sleep with a pillow completely beneath often prefer medium-loft pillows because there is less space. For those who sleep with a pillow partially beneath their head, then a medium- or high-loft pillow may be needed to fill the larger gap.

Mattress type: Certain mattresses, such as all-foam and latex models, are designed to sink deeply beneath the sleeper’s body. A low-loft pillow may be most suitable for these mattresses because there is less space between the neck and the mattress surface. Other mattresses, such as innersprings and hybrids, are less responsive and will not sink as much. A medium- or high-loft pillow can help fill the extra space and provide more support.

Body weight: People with above-average weights (more than 230 pounds) may sink deeper into their mattress than lighter individuals, and thus prefer a low- or medium-loft pillow that won’t elevate their heads too much. People with below-average weights (less than 130 pounds) may prefer medium- or high-loft pillows because they don’t sink as much.

Head size: People with larger-than-average heads are more likely to feel comfortable on a high-loft pillow that won’t sink too deeply. Low- or medium-loft pillows may be the best option for those with small or average-size heads

Shoulder width: People with wider shoulder spans experience larger gaps between their head/neck and their pillow, and may need a higher-loft pillow to compensate for space. Those with narrower shoulders usually feel more comfortable with low- or medium-loft pillows.

It’s important to note that many pillows offer adjustable loft. The owner simply unzips the pillow cover and adds or removes the fill material to increase or decrease the loft. Adjustable-loft pillows may be the best option for people whose loft preferences tend to vary from night tonight.

Best Pillow Materials for People with Back Pain

Pillows come in a wide selection of fill materials, each with unique benefits and drawbacks for sleepers with back pain. The table below lists pros, cons, and back pain ratings for the seven most common pillow materials.

PILLOW MATERIAL DESCRIPTION PROS CONS NECK PAIN RATING
Buckwheat The pillows are filled with five to 10 pounds of buckwheat hulls, or outer shells Adjustable loft Sleeps cool

Good support

High price Too firm for some

Heavy and difficult to move

Good Buckwheat pillows offer adjustable loft and sleep fairly cool, but many people with back pain find they are too firm
Down The pillows contain the soft inner plumage of ducks or geese, and may also be padded with outer feathers Adjustable loft Lightweight

Sleeps cool

High price Flatten easily

Too soft for some

Fair
Most down pillows are not suitable for sleepers with back pain because they are excessively soft and will lose their shape quickly
Down Alternative The pillows are filled with polyester fibers that mimic the softness of real down Adjustable loft Lightweight

Low price

Short lifespan Flatten easily

Too soft for some

Poor Most sleepers with back pain do not feel comfortable on down alternative pillows because they are too soft and will become flat rather quickly
Feather Pillows are filled with outer feathers of ducks or geese (as opposed to down, or inner plumage) Adjustable loft Lightweight

Long lifespan

High cost Flatten easily Very Good Feather pillows tend to be firmer than down pillows, making them more suitable for people with back pain
Latex Pillows contain solid latex, a substance extracted from the sap of rubber trees Close conforming Long lifespan

Retain full shape without flattening

Non-adjustable loft High cost

Dense and heavy

Good Latex pillows offer even support, but the loft is not adjustable
Memory Foam Pillows may contain shredded or solid pieces of memory foam, which softens when it comes into contact with body heat Close conforming Adjustable loft if shredded

Lightweight

High cost Sleeps hot Very Good Memory foam pillows conform closely and alleviate a high amount of pressure; most orthopedic pillows are made from memory foam
Polyester Pillows contain shredded polyfoam, which has a similar feel to memory foam, or interlocking polyester fibers that give the pillow a fuller shape Low cost Adjustable loft when shredded Short lifespan Flattens easily

Sleeps hot

Good Memory foam pillows provide more pain and pressure relief, but polyfoam pillows can be a low-cost alternative for people with back pain

Additionally, some pillows contain interior water chambers that can be filled or drained to adjust the loft. The chambers are usually padded with foam to make the pillow more comfortable. Many sleepers with back pain claim that water chamber pillows alleviate pain and pressure to a noticeable extent.

WORLD #FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS DAY 12th MAY, 2020…

Help us to promote World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day on 12th May 2020 in any way you can. Some Fibro groups have created unique ways to help promote awareness.

Fibromyalgia UK is still there but with the COVID-19 virus cannot hold any events but say they still have a hotline and contact form.

The Fibro Blogger Directory should be your first port of call for anything to do with Fibro. There is a large database of bloggers who all write about Fibro in one way or another and it is an award-winning blog for all the work it’s writer Lee Good does for this condition. It is CONNECTING the fibro blogging community, inspired by all the fibro bloggers and their stories.

The biggest problem with Fibromyalgia is the fact that you have so much overall pain which has nothing to show for it.

It’s not that you want to go around with a plaque on your head saying ‘I’m in pain’, but if you look at the number of invisible symptoms of Fibromyalgia it makes you realise why people question your pain when there is nothing to show for it.

I had more sympathy for a broken metatarsal which was in plaster than I’ve ever had for my chronic pain and I wouldn’t have minded but once your foot is in plaster there is no pain.

Hopefully, the more awareness raised an out Fibromyalgia the more others will understand your condition. This infographic from Fibromyalgia Treatment Group explains it all.

Fibro and Chronic Pain Support Group promote the awareness day on a Facebook page which is an online event only so you can attend from the comfort of your home or work! Fibromyalgia (FMS) & ME/CFS Awareness Day for May 12th of each year, but will be recognized by us all year round. It isn’t just one day that we want awareness, it’s every day because every day we deal with chronic pain.

Together Walks is another US charity that has been set up to raise funds for research and help people connect for May 12th Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.*  More than 700 live champions and thousands of online champions have joined Together Walks. Obviously, with social distancing, the virtual walk will be the most popular. Click here to register for live and virtual 2018 Together Walks as well as to create and join walk teams.

There are a large number of symptoms of #fibromyalgia but the main symptoms as listed on the Fibromyalgia Support Network are -It is very important that other possible causes are ruled out. The number of, and severity of the rest of the symptoms, seems to be different for every person. They can also vary from day to day, even minute to minute. You could be walking along limping from severe pain in your left leg for a few minutes, that slowly wears off, only to have worse pain in your other leg next time you start walking.

The main symptoms of #fibromyalgia include:

      • Chronic widespread pain without apparent cause
      • Fatigue
      • Sleep Disturbance
      • Cognitive Dysfunction
      • Morning Stiffness
      • Cramping and Muscle Spasms
      • Restless Leg Syndrome
      • Digestive Problems
      • Headaches and Migraines
      • Skin Sensations
      • Balance Problems
      • Sensitivities – to just about everything are common as well. Sensitivities to:
        • Touch – It can feel ‘uncomfortable’ to be touched. Tickling can be completely unbearable.
        • Heat – sweats and feelings of breathlessness
        • Cold – increases in pain and difficulty getting warm
        • Changes in the weather – pain increases
        • Side effects from meds – more susceptible to side effects and side effects can be more severe. Also, a med that works well for one person can make another very ill.
        • Foods – Common foods that people become especially sensitive to include chilli, dairy, gluten and fatty foods.
        • Light – Bright or glary light can be an issue. So can seeing in low light levels.
        • Sound – Loud sound can cause tinnitus. It can also be very difficult to separate sounds, like when talking to someone in a noisy room.
        • Taste – Some tastes can appear stronger than others, and this can vary.
        • Smell – a sense of smell can be diminished, but it can also be more sensitive. Can cause nausea and headaches.
        • … the list goes on and on.

For me personally from this long list of symptoms I suffer mostly with chronic widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, digestive problems, balance problems and most definitely some of the sensitivities listed above. What do you suffer from most?

 

HOW TO RELEASE PAIN ON YOUR BACK WITH THE BEST INVERSION TABLES…

Are you struggling with back pain? And still haven’t found a way to resolve this problem? Because, nothing seems to quite do the trick, does it? Let me be frank with you, you’re probably doing it all wrong.

There are various techniques to relieve your back pain and if you do things the right way, you will feel the difference. However, there is one particular method that has grabbed my attention. Care to guess? Let me give you a hint – it involves a table. Yes, that’s right; I’m talking about inversion therapy. Find out more here.

WHAT IS INVERSION THERAPY?

It’s when you hang upside down. No, seriously, it is. However, you might need some more info than that. Inversion therapy uses your bodyweight and gravity to help you find the position in which you can stretch and relieve some pressure off your spine. It is known to successfully relieve back pain and leave you feeling fresh afterwards.

Essentially, inversion is a type of spinal traction. It is practiced by supporting yourself with your feet, ankles, or legs, while hanging at an inverted angle. You can stay in this position for a few minutes and it is recommended not to go above 15 minutes at a time.

This practice is common with physiotherapists and chiropractors. However, since the procedure is not that complex, there is now a way to do this alone right there in your home. Of course, you have to make sure to do it properly. But, as I have already said, it is really not that complicated. That is, if you own an inversion table.

Learn more about inversion tables here: https://posturebly.com/top-7-benefits-of-inversion-tables-on-your-body-and-mind

In simple words, an inversion table is the product that allows you to feel the benefits of the above mentioned therapy in your own home. Or outside, or wherever you like to hang these days… Jokes aside, this is the item that can significantly help you with your back pain issues. Obviously you have to have the approval of your medical team first.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST INVERSION TABLE

Since the market has spotted this product’s value and usefulness, it is now brimming with all kinds of inversion tables. This means that picking the right one can get a little tricky. However, getting a wrong one might have some undesired consequences. So, let me help you make the right choice. Here’s what you should look for.

QUALITY CONSTRUCTION AND DURABILITY…

Imagine having your head down and your feet up, suspended to a device that you feel might break any minute? Oh boy, would I be in panic. My heart would jump out of my chest. As if it’s not enough that I am feeling kind of vulnerable in this position, now I also have to worry about whether the thing that’s supporting me will hold my weight. No, thank you, I’d rather not.

In order to avoid accidents and injuries, the most important thing to do is find a stable inversion table. It is best if it has a steel frame. In addition to that, you should read more about what makes this product strong and durable. But, this is the most important feature in that regard. With a frame like this, you can be sure that the product will hold you, while also being able to enjoy it for a long time, since steel is a highly durable material.

COMFORT…

The next on my list is, naturally, the comfort of the table. After all, a product the purpose of which is to relieve your back pain shouldn’t cause you some more aches, am I correct? This is where seating pads come into play. And, if they are made of soft memory foam, they are sure to provide your whole body maximum comfort while you are assuming, say, the position of a bat.

VALUE…

Sure, you could just go and buy the first inversion table that you see. And you might even get yourself a really cheap deal. But, is cheap always the best option? You will notice that the sub-headline above doesn’t say “price”, but “value”. That should be your principal aim.

I understand that you must limit your options to the size of your wallet, but getting great value for your money does not mean spending a fortune. What you should keep in mind while on your pursuit is the quality of materials, inversion therapy dynamics, as well as the price. It’s no secret that the better ones might be more expensive, but this is your spine we are talking about. That’s not something worth compromising, in any sense of the word.

WARRANTIES…

While we are on the topic of spending money and worrying that you will fail to get what you searched for in the product, you should always check the offered warranties. You don’t want to end up with a table that breaks down after a couple of uses and be completely helpless and unable to do anything about it. Keep in mind that this is a device you will be using regularly, probably every day, which is why it’s important to ensure that everything works properly and that you will receive good customer care in case it doesn’t.

In addition to all that I have already mentioned, when you are hunting for an inversion table you might learn that some models offer specific additional features. Check if you need any of those. And once you have found the exact type you need, you can enjoy the therapeutic effect on your upper and lower back.

SIX GREAT PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU COPE WITH THE FESTIVE ACTIVITIES…

Christmas is nearly upon us and many chronic pain sufferers will struggle to get out during and after the festive period. Apart from the buying of presents, there are lots of other activities that come about at this time of year. For instance, the nativity play, the Christmas party, the family get together and the list goes on.

The simple act of sitting down on something that is not suitable for say a person with a back problem could actually create more pain for them. So, I’ve looked into portable outdoor seat/supports/cushions just for this reason. My top choice would be –

Highlander Folding Outdoor Sit Mat Lightweight Padded Portable Stadium Seat which is constructed from High-Density foam and a hard-wearing durable Polyester. It’s LIGHTWEIGHT, COMPACT AND PORTABLE: Weighing only 380g and measuring 40x40x4cm when folded and will offer comfort and support use after use. This one I found was available on Amazon and is £13.99

The Back Booster helps support the lower back, helps relax lower back muscles and is very lightweight and portable, nylon carry bag included. It inflates in a few breaths and deflates to pocket size and is £14.99 available from The Back Booster.

A coccyx cushion of which there are quite a few about. I cannot live without mine and have them in every car and upstairs in my stud. Whenever we go away take one with me and use it when I go to the cinema. I would honestly be quite miserable without mine so here’s a couple to choose from. The Drive Coccyx Cushion which is on Amazon at the moment for £9.95 This fully portable, uniquely designed cushion can help relieve that pressure and may help to prevent back pain by suspending your coccyx over the cutout section.

Or The Sciatica Relief Cushion which performs just like its name and is well worth the investment of £31.50 The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is a class 1 medical device designed to alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve while sitting allowing the nerve space and time to heal. By placing the cushion on your seat every time you sit you are able to stretch your sciatic nerve whilst reducing the increased pressure the nerve experiences during sitting. This cushion is specifically designed for people who have sciatica pain symptoms that are aggravated or exacerbated while sitting or seated. It is easy to use, safe and specifically designed for sciatica pain relief.

I would also add this Adjustable Tripod Walking Stick and seat as if like me you cannot even stand for long in a queue then this is just perfect. The Height adjustable walking stick seat is designed to provide support and comfort and provides a stable and comfortable seated position when you need a break from standing. This particular one is from Amazon for £25 but there are also a number of them on Complete Care Shop website. 

Finally the Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion from Complete Care Shop which is ergonomically designed, and provides excellent levels of comfort to the user and is ideal when travelling. It is suitable for long train, plane or car journeys and is of a lightweight, compact nature making it tremendously portable. Made from high-quality memory foam, it helps to alleviate pressure and tension and will not lose its shape. This black Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion is supplied with a removable velour cover and costs £8.89

Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion